Archive for October, 2016


Movies > Books: Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s famous novel Frankenstein was originally published in 1818. It’s become an English literary classic in the 200 years since. Conceptually, it’s phenomenal; the story of a man who dares to become God by creating life out of dead flesh. Unfortunately, for those of us who have actually read the book, we all know how badly executed it is.

Shelley wrote the novel between the ages of 18 and 20. When you read it, you can tell it was written by a teenager. It has no depth, no nuance, clunky prose, it’s idealistic to the point of annoyance, and it smacks of worldly inexperience. It is exactly the kind of book you would expect a teenage girl to write. It doesn’t convey any maturity that an adult writer would naturally have from a lifetime of experience.


Shelley’s book is indeed a “classic” today, but not because she wrote a good book. Shelley got extremely lucky. First, her husband was the world-famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and he certainly had pull within academic and publishing circles. Second, she lived in a time when pretty much anyone who had the wherewithal to write a book (i.e. they were rich) could get it published. It’s not like today when anyone with Microsoft Word can bang out a shitty novel and self-publish it on Amazon. Third, the 1931 film Frankenstein was so incredible, people remember that and not the book on which it was based.

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Safety Nation Chapter 2

I hope you’ve all had a chance to enjoy the first chapter of my novel, Safety Nation. If you missed it, you can click here to read it. There will be plenty of updates (i.e. chapters and other announcements) coming your way soon.

This weekend is Halloween, so I will post my regular, Halloween-themed movie review. It’s a little different this time, and I think you’ll like it. Until then, on to the second chapter…

As always, the chapter below, and entire novel, are copyrighted.

— — —

Safety Nation by Logan Riley


Returning my equipment at the end of the shift took just as long as picking it up. It was another series of long corridors, name and serial number recitations, and right hand turns. I shuffled out of the building as the day shift shuffled in.

As my car shuttled me home, I reclined the seat three inches, the farthest it would go. The car hummed along the expressway, looping around the city. The sun was a yellow orb, hovering in a pale, cloudless sky. I closed my eyes and tried to drift off, but it was too bright.

I turned on the radio. There were only three stations: Weather, News, and Government. Before the First Government existed, there had been hundreds of radio stations. A study revealed that all those choices were distracting to drivers, and when the First Government came to power, radio stations were eliminated. Soon, people clamored to have them back. While the government was deciding what to do, another study revealed that music could evoke unsafe, passionate emotional responses. So, the government created three channels, none of which played music, and none of which people would be interested in.

I flipped through the stations. As usual, nothing good was on. I turned the radio off and tried to sleep again to no avail.

Continue reading ‘Safety Nation Chapter 2’


Safety Nation Chapter 1

It’s been a week since the announcement of my novel, Safety Nation. Now, I’m pleased to share the first chapter with you. I haven’t decided how many chapters I’m going to post online, but it will probably be around 100 pages of the book.

In the coming weeks you can expect more chapters, as well as the release date, and the cover art. Each update is really exciting for me. All the various aspects are still getting finalized (fonts, book size, layout, etc.). Really boring stuff for everyone else, but agonizing for me, because I want it to be perfect.

It probably goes without saying, but this chapter, as well as the entire book, is copyrighted.

Without further ado, enjoy the first chapter…

— — —

Safety Nation by Logan Riley


Sex Detail.

I hated this job. Of all the possible assignments, this was the most disgusting. We spy on people having sex. Not the glamorous movie version of sex where two attractive people make well-choreographed love. It was usually two sweaty slobs clumsily slapping their bodies together. After several years away from this assignment, I was back, and not by choice.

The van was hot, and the stagnant air choked me. I tore at my tie and jerked the collar of my shirt down. That didn’t help. The stifling air was made worse by the body heat of the man next to me. Huxley sat with a pair of binoculars stuck to his face like they were an appendage. He sported a perverted grin.

Huxley was getting into it now. A rivulet of drool trickled from his mouth. I caught a glimpse of a substantial bulge in his pants, and quickly wished I hadn’t. He was a man who loved his job.

Continue reading ‘Safety Nation Chapter 1’


Safety Nation is Coming Soon

Safety Nation is coming soon. What is Safety Nation? It’s my first published novel! That’s right, your (un)friendly neighborhood BrikHaus is publishing a book. After years of trashing other people’s hard work, now it’s my turn to face public scrutiny. I’ve toiled away for a long time writing as a hobby, and I’ve finally written something I think is good enough to share with the world.

In the coming weeks I will be providing updates on the status of the book: the cover art (what you see above is not it), the release date (sometime in December, but the final date isn’t firm yet), and several chapters. Be prepared for lots of text to grace the site as I take a break from watching Michael Bay shitstorms, fake hipster crap, and moeblob anime abominations. I still plan to post my regular stuff intermittently, just so Awesomely Shitty doesn’t become a complete advertisement.

And what is Safety Nation about? Well, it’s a satire of dystopian literature, a genre that takes itself far too seriously. It’s also based in part on my own torturous experience working for a huge, dumb bureaucracy. I’ve included the exciting book blurb for your reading pleasure below:

Safety Inspector Smith never wanted to save the world; he only tried so he could get some peace and quiet.

Smith has been a government drone for thirty years. He works for an institution obsessed with the safety of its citizens. Whether it’s making people practice safe sex, abolishing all junk food, or replacing real grass with hypoallergenic artificial turf, the government uses its Safety Inspectors to make sure everyone stays safe. But Smith doesn’t care about any of that. All he wants is to move away from the bustling city, its people, and all its regulations.

Stuck in a terrible job, Smith sees a glimmer of hope in his new partner, a rookie named Lowry. He soon learns she has a greater knack for government work than he ever did. Together, they cut corners, dodge red tape, and fool their dimwitted superiors into giving them promotions.

Just when things are looking up, a maniac threatens to overthrow the government. Smith couldn’t care less, but Lowry jumps into the fray. By a twist of fate, Smith holds the key to saving the world, and he would do anything to help his friend.

Darkly humorous, “Safety Nation” is a satirical take on dystopian fiction, told in a hard-boiled style.

That’s it for now. I’m really excited for you to read this book. Hopefully, all three of my regular readers will pick up a copy. I had a lot of fun (not to mention agonizing over) writing it, and I hope you get to enjoy reading it.


The Accountant, The Innkeepers

The Accountant

I think it’s great that Hollywood is finally recognizing Autism, and giving its sufferers, such as Ben Affleck, starring roles in films. Affleck plays a shady accountant that fixes books for drug lords and terrorists. Working with such greasy clientele, he’s had to keep a low profile. The government has been tracking him for years, and finally gets a break in the case to hunt him down.

Simultaneously, Affleck gets a new assignment, one that causes him to cross paths with hired guns. As a kid, his psycho father trained him in martial arts and marksmanship. So, Affleck is able to kill quite handily. He goes against said killers while trying to keep his identity a secret.

The movie works well on pretty much all levels. The story is smartly written, and paced evenly, although it’s a bit slow in parts. We learn Affleck’s history through well-placed flashbacks, and there is even a stunner of a twist ending that I won’t spoil for you here.

It’s not an action movie, although there is some action in it. The action isn’t anything to write home about; don’t expect this to be the next John Wick. It’s more a thriller, a story meant to keep the audience guessing. The acting is also pretty good, too. Affleck barely emotes, and when he does, it’s mostly for laughs. For once, he finally found a role he was suited for.

Overall, it’s an above-average thriller, but probably won’t be one we remember ten years from now.

Verdict: Good

The Innkeepers

This 2011 horror film has rave reviews, but I can’t understand why. It’s certainly not the worst horror film ever made, but it is far from the best. It might actually be the most disappointing one I’ve seen.

It features a pair of hotel employees trying to figure out if their hotel is haunted. The film starts out promising. It takes its time setting up the characters and the atmosphere. It lets the audience get to know the surroundings, and slowly builds a sense of dread. The problem with most horror films is they go right for the jump-scares without giving the audience any time to settle in.

This movie sets up atmosphere to a fault.  It spends 1 hour and 20 minutes of it’s 1 hour and 40 minute runtime setting up atmosphere. That amount of setup is beyond excessive. By the time the scares actually come, the audience is bored stiff. It’s a tease more than anything else. Yes, the scares were good, and they didn’t have to rely on startles, which I approved of. But, sadly, it’s a case of too little, too late.

Verdict: Bad


The Bourne Mediocrity (AKA Jason Bourne 5)

Thirty minutes in, and right after a major action sequence, I checked my watch to see how much time was left in this movie. I grimaced when I saw there was still another ninety minutes to go. Jason Bourne, the fifth film in the series, is yet another one of Hollywood’s ill-advised attempts at resurrecting franchises. Instead of wowing, it falls flat on its face, and makes you wish they had stopped with the third film.

The fundamental problem with Jason Bourne is it’s a film stuck in the past. The original trilogy is undeniably phenomenal. It is one of those rare “perfect trilogies” that never makes a misstep. Expanding the series beyond that meant there was nowhere to go, and they would be doing nothing but rehashing old concepts.

Continue reading ‘The Bourne Mediocrity (AKA Jason Bourne 5)’

October 2016


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